1 Jun 2022

The Crown Estate: One Wide-Ranging Search. Two Great Leaders Appointed.

How The Crown Estate got more than they'd bargained for in their search for a Head of Customer, Brand & Marketing.

What do you do when the shortlist is full of outstanding talent? For The Crown Estate - guardian of many national assets – the answer was to hire more than one candidate.  The organisation asked Green Park to find their next Head of Customer, Brand & Marketing and Green Park’s search not only resulted in the perfect candidate to fulfil this role, but an additional candidate to fulfil an entirely new role. Now with the addition of a Head of Product Development & Digital Strategy, The Crown Estate are set to take their brand into a whole new, exciting era.

Green Park search proposal accepted on the spot

  • Rigorous search project analysed 300 individuals from diverse backgrounds and sectors
  • Five-name shortlist delivered, with an excellent candidate found
  • Client also recruited for a second role, created especially for the candidate
  • New talent will help The Crown Estate to move forward with major plans


The Challenge

The Crown Estate is the sovereign’s private estate. Generating £6.5 billion annually, it is the oldest landlord in the UK, with assets across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including Ascot Racecourse, Windsor Great Park and British territorial waters. If you haven’t heard of the organisation, that’s no surprise – in the past, it’s been happy to let its attractions take the limelight.

In 2021, The Crown Estate invited Green Park to submit a proposal for an important strategic project: sourcing a Head of Customer, Brand & Marketing. The successful candidate would be tasked with raising the profile of The Crown Estate and taking it out of the shadows. It was a singular challenge – and naturally, the client wanted to choose from the most able candidates. That meant looking outside the Heritage and Property sectors well established talent pool. Green Park proposed a wide-ranging search that would look beyond the obvious, searching for skilled candidates from outside the sector and diversifying the talent pool without compromising on quality.    

The Project

Green Park’s proposed sourcing candidates that were the unusual suspects with a focus on diversity which  was embraced and the client commissioned Green Park straight away. The next step was to investigate a number of market verticals that had synergy with the Heritage sector and might harbour possible candidates with the necessary skillsets and experience. This included marketing leaders from global brands, as well as relevant industry sectors such as Museums, Arts and Property. Having analysed the job profile, Green Park’s experts set about identifying leaders with relevant experience and transferable skills. Leaders from all backgrounds were considered, including neurodiverse leaders and those with lived experience – in total, some 300 people.

The Results

The result was a shortlist of five candidates – all of whom impressed the client. So much so, that The Crown Estate decided to recruit for not just one, but two different roles. The first hire was for the original role, the Head of Customer, Brand & Marketing. The successful candidate came from Disney, a company and industry that the client hadn’t previously considered. The candidates professional experience and the pace of the industry they came from offered crown estate an opportunity to communicate with its customers in a significantly more innovative way.

A second candidate was recruited for the role of Head of Product Development & Digital Strategy, again from outside the Heritage sector. This leader had previously been a highly successful director of global strategy at Costa Coffee.

Through the combined expertise of its new recruits, The Crown Estate can press forward with its exciting plans to build its brand. Thanks to this positive experience, The Crown Estate has since gone on to commission Green Park for two further projects. 

Take the next step: find out more about the work of Green Park’s Executive Search Practice

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